Rob King: “Inspiring My Team To Act With Ambition And Confidence” Gives Me Energy

The Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News, shares his morning routine and the book that changed his life.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Rob King: I wake up the kids and the dog, feed them, get them dressed and get them off to school. Well, the dog remains naked and stays home. The Bride, meanwhile, gets to sleep in.

TG: What gives you energy?
RK: Inspiring my team to act with ambition and confidence and achieve things greater than I’d have imagined.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
RK: Occasionally, while everyone’s sleeping, I go through our family photo archive and relive the last 12 amazing years, watching the Wee Three Kings grow happy and strong. #raisondetre

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
RK: The World Book Encyclopedia. Yes, I just dated myself, but this is no joke. My brother, sister and I read every page. Each volume literally opened up the world for us.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
RK: My relationship with my phone is cordial, mostly — a marriage of convenience. On vacations, we’re estranged, our encounters brief and impersonal. And yes, every night it lurks face-down on a bedside table.

TG: How do you deal with email?
RK: I keep a VIP list — family members, boss and peers, direct reports — which has my consistent attention. Beyond that, I schedule time to check in on the rest. Binge-deleting can be cathartic.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?RK: Wander around the newsroom to see what’s up and find a laugh. Something’s always up, and something is almost always funny.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
RK: It’s going to work out. You just don’t know how yet.

As Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News, Rob King oversees all of SportsCenter and ESPN’s news gathering operations. A past Pulitzer jurist, King has served as the Chairman of Poynter’s National Advisory Board and is a member of the Associated Press board of directors. King was named to Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” list in 2014.

Originally published at

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